According to the lengthy piece, Trump paid $750 in taxes from 2016—the year in which he won the presidency— and $750 in taxes in 2017. It went on to say that Trump paid no income taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”
Trump called the story “totally fake.”
“It’s totally fake news. Made up, fake,” the president said at a news conference late Sunday afternoon at the White House.
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Among the takeaways from the Times report, in which the paper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, said were compiled by a team of reporters, included:
- Trump paid no federal taxes during 11 years out of 18 years worth of lengthy examinations.
- Businesses like Trump’s golf courses lost massive amounts of money, which helped lower his taxes.
- The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, received consultation fees from the Trump Organization, which helped lower the family’s tax bill.
- Lavish lifestyle expenses such as plane trips, residences, and $70,000 in “hairstyling” for TV were considered deductions
- In the most recent years from the NYT investigation—2016 and 2017—Trump paid just $750 in taxes each year.
Newsweek reached out to the White House, which referred to a statement by Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization. Garten said the Times story was “riddled with gross inaccuracies” and that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate.”
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Garten said the Times would not provide the records it claimed to have obtained. The paper said it declined to do so in order to protect its sources.
The attorney said the president has paid “tens of millions of dollars” of personal taxes over the years.
“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015,” Garten said.
Baquet said it’s his paper’s First Amendment right to investigate and report the president’s tax returns.
“Some will raise questions about publishing the president’s personal tax information,” he wrote in an editor’s note about the report. “But the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the First Amendment allows the press to publish newsworthy information that was legally obtained by reporters even when those in power fight to keep it hidden. That powerful principle of the First Amendment applies here.”
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